What Are We Reading?: Skinwrapper, by Stephen Kozeniewski
5/5 Safety Override Penalties
Give me the short version:
A spoiled but clever young corporate citizen has her life shattered when bloodthirsty pirates raid her ship.
Mr Kozeniewski dives back into the single gender, corporation ruled, immersive and utterly fascinating space-going universe he introduced us to in The Hematophages.
I have to admit, I hit pre-order on this so hard I shattered the keyboard. When I came to the end I was surprised to find it was a short backstory piece rather than a full novel, which is on me I guess, for not reading the promotional material carefully enough.
Still, length or no length, Skinwrapper is tense, dynamic, fresh and grimly funny. You're dunked straight into corporate shipboard life but you don't have to read The Hematophages to get it, there's explanation that expands the immersion without sacrificing pacing. I would happily read a whole collection of these!
"Body parts float past in perfectly square chunks. Here's a hand, neatly severed at the wrist in a perfect line. Here's a cube of thigh, sliced to the bone, still hairy and imperfect on one side, but the other five forming perfect right angles carved out of the flesh.
I think of a doll built out of stacking blocks, covered with clay and molded into a perfect doll shape, even painted perfectly, but then the blocks are all pulled apart, chunks of clay still attached. This is the best way I can describe this abomination."